International Women’s Day 2014

Serious Business Woman

International Women’s Day is fast approaching. Each year, March 8th is recognized as International Women’s Day. In some countries, International Women’s Day is an official holiday. Let these celebration ideas listed below — whether they involve cupcakes, lipstick or protest — inspire you about commemorate International Women’s Day.

1. Take the day off.
In countries where the day is a public holiday, workers get the day off to celebrate the accomplishments of women. Armenia, Burkina Faso, Mongolia and Kazakhstan are a few of the countries where International Women’s Day is a national holiday. In the afore-referenced countries, workers are given the day off. In some countries, such as China, only women get the day off.

2. Give flowers to women.
Flowers are a symbol of International Women’s Day, and many countries celebrate by decorating with flowers, or giving them to women as presents. In Italy, yellow mimosas are popular. Russians give a variety of flowers, including red roses. In Hanoi, Vietnam, it’s not just boyfriends and husbands giving flowers to the women in their lives, but also bosses and colleagues.

3. Donate money to women’s causes.
In the United States, in 2012, micro-lending non-profits such as Kiva launched a campaign to remind women to help women around the world by investing in their futures. Kiva.org/women will connect you to women who need loans.

4. Protest.
International Women’s Day was born of activism — the holiday was founded in 1910, when a German woman named Clara Zetkin proposed that every country devote a day to the needs and political demands of women. While in many countries, the holiday has taken on the sentimental status of days like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, women around the world use March 8 as an opportunity to fight for political freedom, equal pay and working rights, among other causes. The day was marked by protests in Turkey, Sri Lanka, and Palestine, among other countries.

5. Wear red lipstick.
In 2012, a marketing agency encouraged women across America to wear red lipstick in honor of International Women’s Day.

6. Stand on a bridge.
“Join Me on the Bridge” is a campaign for women’s equality that started with Rwandan and Congolese women, who met on a bridge joining their two countries as a demonstration that women could build bridges of peace. The first “Join me on the Bridge” events were held in 2010 when the Country Directors of Women for Women’s programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo had an idea that became the impetus for this global campaign. In its first year over 20,000 people took part with 119 events in 19 countries.

This year’s third global “Join me on the Bridge” campaign marked the 101th anniversary of International Women’s Day and thousands of women, men and children joined together on bridges across the world. On average, there are 464 events in 70 different countries, which is a staggering show of strength and solidarity with our sisters in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other war-torn countries.

7. Check out some art.
In Washington D.C., it would be a good day to patronize the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

8. Eat a cupcake.
In 2012, free cupcakes for women were available at select bars and restaurants in the U.S. and England. Some assert that the eat a cupcake campaign was great but not all women did not view this campaign in a positive light.

9. Defeat sexual harassment.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron signed a Council of Europe convention promising necessary legislative measures” against anyone committing “verbal, non-verbal or physical sexual harassment” in honor of International Women’ Day, Yahoo reports. The bill means that women can walk to work without having to worry about street harassment, which could range from stalking to wolf-whistling.

10. Look back — and forward about the progress of women.
Some assert that we have come a long way since the first International Women’s Day more than 100 years ago, when women in America did not yet have the right to vote. But events of the last year — as politics and women’s concerns about violence against women and reproductive health— prove that there is still work to be done. That’s just in America. Around the world, women’s needs are even greater. International Women’s Day will show you how to help.

Sources: http://www.joinmeathebridge.org. Wikipedia. The Washington Post Style Blog, March 8, 2012.

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